Kent sinkhole reveals hidden network of WWI tunnels that have been buried for decades

Sometimes, a sinkhole becomes a door to another dimension!

After the car park of a Kent branch of Primark collapsed, an unexpected and giant network of underground tunnels that could date back a century was discovered under the Broadstairs retail complex… And history experts believe they may have been used during both world wars.

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Sinkhole that opened up beneath a Kent branch of Primark reveals hidden network of WWI tunnels that have been buried for decades. via Thanet Hidden History
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Network of underground tunnels under retail complex in Broadstairs, Kent, could date back a century. via Thanet Hidden History

The tunnels containing rusted metal barrels and basins were first found after a similar incident of subsidence in 2015 by the landowners Westwood Cross and have since been explored by local group Thanet Hidden History.

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Tunnels containing rusted metal barrels and basins were first found after subsidence two years ago. via Thanet Hidden History
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History experts believe they may have been used during both world wars but their actual age is unclear. via Thanet Hidden History

Experts believe the British Army used the tunnels – accessed by steps – for training exercises, but have argued whether they were created before the First World War or after in preparation for future conflicts.

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After the tunnels were discovered two years ago, they have been explored by local group Thanet Hidden History. via Thanet Hidden History
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Experts believe the British Army used the KENT tunnels – accessed by steps – for training exercises. via Thanet Hidden History

According to KentLive, a Freedom of Information request was sent to the Ministry of Defence by the landowners Ravenside Investments two years to delve into the origin of the tunnels.

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It is still unsure if the tunnels were built for WWI or after. via Thanet Hidden History
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Shoppers at the Primark in Broadstairs have previously been completely unaware of the history hidden beneath their feet. via Thanet Hidden History

Ravenside Investments wrote: ‘We have recently discovered tunnels underneath our property and have reason to believe these were created by the Army during the First World War as a training exercise.’

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The British Army may hae trained in these undergound tunnels during WWI. via Thanet Hidden History
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Wartime tunnels are not a rare sight in Thanet. In fact a mass network of tunnels and air raid shelters run beneath the Isle. via Thanet Hidden History

But the MoD replied that ‘no information’ was held in its records on the tunnels. Thanet Hidden History believes an air raid shelter hidden under the shopping centre was sealed in recent years to prevent further damage.

The Primark – which has been on site since 2011 – reopened last weekend after being closed since May since the subsidence, with shoppers previously unaware of the history hidden beneath their feet.

Sometimes a sinkhole becomes a door to another dimension!

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